Our New Boat the Striker Outcast Raft

by | Jun 6, 2023 | Outcast Striker Raft | 1 comment

Outcast-StrikerOne of the luckiest things during our big move across country from Idaho to Wisconsin was that I was unable to sell our drift boat before leaving.  This led to a dreaded drive across country with the ancient baby-blue Slide Rite on an old rusty and cracked trailer behind a 1991 stick shift Exploder.  But it made it and we’re glad it did.  As you know from the blog we use it a ton.


But the drift boat isn’t ideal for all Wisconsin rivers so today we added the Outcast OSG Striker Raft to our fleet.  The Striker is a convenient smaller than average two person durable raft that pieces together and inflates in less than 15 minutes and packs up at the end of our day in the same time or less.  We stuff it right in the back of the Exploder.  No trailering needed.


Striker-CurrierOne of the fears floating small waterways for the first time are obstacles.  I’ve been on rivers blocked by fallen trees and or fences and ran into unexpected boat-hull-busting rapids.  Unless you can portage around, you’re screwed.  Granny and I can’t portage a drift boat, however our new raft is 102lbs with carrying handles on both ends.  It’s easy to carry short distances or drag further.  Few unknown locations intimidate us now.


Granny-CurrierToday was the Strikers maiden voyage. Granny and I launched at 5:45 AM.  It was a cool and calm morning, unfortunately the perfect recipe to be devoured by thirsty mosquitoes.  But I’ve always found that when the blood suckers are bad fishing is good.


big-fishLike with any new craft, the first hour was getting acquainted.  Rafts row much differently than a drift boat.  They maneuver different, glide slower and wind has a dissimilar effect on them.  At the same time, Granny was in a new fishing position which takes a few minutes to get comfortable with as well.  And landing a big fish – that would soon be a lot of fun!


fly-fishingBut we figured things out – boy did we ever.  Granny was smacking a Clouser pattern tight to the banks for smallmouth bass.  Action was slow at first but as I rowed and gazed downstream I witnessed a five inch chub greyhounding for the shallows like a fly hooked blue marlin.  The minnows last move was fatal, not because he got eaten, but rather he jumped on shore and I could later hear it flopping in the woods.  Behind this baitfish were swirls of what I was sure was a pike.  I confirmed this moments later by hopping out of the boat and catching him.


Northern-pike-Granny-CurrierIt was a “pikey” area so I handed Granny my 6-weight Air 2 already rigged with a white Puglisi style fly attached to 7” of wire bite tippet.  Let’s just say the girl went to work.  Over the next hour or so she landed four smallies (yes on the wire leader) and three pike.  Call her the “Pike Queen”, she got her second hawg pike of the year!


flyfishingMore exciting than the fleeing chub or Granny’s thick bodied and lengthy pike from our new stealthy raft was that seconds after we released the toothy fish, out came an unexpecting black bear.  I nearly fell over reaching for my phone to catch the handsome creature as he entered the river.  Sadly, my draw was far too slow and you need a magnifying glass to see the bear.  Its amazing, when he got in the water over his head, he nearly vanished.  You can barely see a line of black swimming across the river.  Trust me, like fish never looking as big as they were in photos, this bear was much closer than the picture shows.


smallmouth-bassIt was an exceptional day on the water in our new Striker.  We weren’t sure we’d like blowing up a raft every time we wanted to fish.  Nor did we think we’d enjoy fishing from one.  But we were no less than very impressed.


NorthwoodsTomorrow is a work day but starting Thursday I have three consecutive days on Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior with Howie and friends.  Keep right on a casting!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

1 Comment

  1. Howie

    Granny getting it done again!
    Sweet boat. It looks perfect for Wisconsin!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!